Old People Bad Sex — We need to define successful relationships better

Dane Swan
Dane Swan
Oct 3, 2018 · 3 min read
“man and woman holding hands” by Justin Groep on Unsplash

The last piece I wrote for this series inspired this train of thought. Actually the lone comment for that article, combined with an off-hand comment from a queer femme female friend inspired me to write this. As my friend would say, “That’s so hetero-norm!” Her comment came up when I was discussing how (fellow WSC collaborator) Liz and I are regularly assumed to be a couple when we perform poetry together. However, it also lends itself well to this piece.

In short people, it’s 2018. We need to stop judging the quality of our relationships, partnerships, marriages, etc by 1920 standards. Enough already. I’m genuinely tired of it. We live in a world where people are changing the definition of gender as we speak. More and more of us are trying to seek happiness. People are more open about being in polyamorous relationships. However, society judges relationships in narrow ways:

How long was your marriage?

Did you have any kids?

Personally, I’ve been in 2 relationships that lasted for 5 years. In no way, shape or form would I consider those relationships successful. However, last year, I spent 10 months with an incredibly intelligent, fun-loving older woman. We enjoyed one another’s company greatly. For me, that was a successful relationship.

It’s my life. Who is to say that those 10 months were not awesome? I learned a lot from someone whose company I cherish. We had fun. I felt comfortable confiding things to her. I went into the relationship understanding that it was likely short term. I made an effort to really appreciate my partner — probably because I knew our time together was limited.

Both my brothers have been with the same women and married for 15+ years. My parents have been married since dinosaurs ruled the earth. We all dream of these super narrow hetero-normative ideas of happily ever after. But it’s 2017. I’m 40. When I enter into a relationship, I rarely think about marriage. Instead, I ask myself to be open to the flaws, mistakes, good points and beauty of the person in front of me. At least, that’s what I want to do. That’s the person I want to become.

Whether I introduce myself to you, or you introduce yourself to me. If you identify with current gender language, or you’re an old foggy like me. It doesn’t matter. I will be vulnerable, with the hopes that you shall reciprocate. I will listen with the hope that you will listen to me. Yeah, I’m still a traditional, straight male; for all the negatives of that. But, I want to be in a relationship where the two of us make the rules, not the outside world. A relationship where we write the rules TOGETHER, instead of trying to fit into ideals that we imagine we’re supposed to squeeze ourselves into. And if by the definitions we write together, the sex is good, we have strong communication, and we become desperate for those quiet moments alone, then the relationship will be a success.

That’s what I want. Would I like to have that situation as a part of my live for the next 25+ years? Of course. But if someone can only be a part of such a partnership for months, or a handful of years; if we both leave, better people, how is that not a successful relationship?

It’s 2018 people! Do you want to be part of a relationship built on other peoples’ ideals? Or, do you want to be in a relationship where both you and your partner are genuinely happy? I know which option I want to choose.

We're Still Cool

What can we say? We're still cool!

Dane Swan

Written by

Dane Swan

Spoken word artist, poet, musician, author and editor.

We're Still Cool

What can we say? We're still cool!

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